Bridgestone South Africa

Under inflated tyres are highly dangerous

Aug 07, 2009

Romano Daniels, Bridgestone General Manager Marketing and Communications, said that tyre under-inflation was one of the most serious risk factors for crashes. "An under-inflated tyre runs at higher temperatures than it is designed for," he explained. "The excess heat and friction can cause the tyre to disintegrate, leading to a blowout."

Daniels said that under-inflated tyres also cause fuel consumption to increase because of the extra rolling resistance that results. "Another concern is tyre life," he said. "An under-inflated tyre wears down much faster. This means that motorists may only get 50 to 60 per cent of the tyre life they would expect from a correctly-inflated tyre," he added. "Also remember that an under-inflated tyre does not hold its designed shape as well under cornering or braking. This can cause poor roadholding and extended braking distances."

Under-inflated tyres can often be recognised by checking the wear pattern. If the tyre is wearing down on both shoulders faster than in the centre, the tyre pressures should be checked more frequently. If, however, the tyre pressures are found to be normal, the vehicle may have an alignment problem and should be seen to before the tyres become too worn.

Daniels advised motorists to check their tyre pressures at least every two weeks, using an accurate tyre gauge. He said that if motorists were concerned about the accuracy of the tyre pressure gauges at their local garages, they should consider investing in a proper portable tyre pressure gauge. He said the savings made through longer tyre life would soon cover the cost of the gauge.

"Bridgestone has done many studies of tyre pressures in car parks around South Africa as part of our Tyre Safety campaign," said Daniels. "Our latest survey, done in Polokwane in June, showed that almost 15 per cent of tyres were under-inflated, 6 percent dangerously so," he added. "We call on all South African motorists to ensure their tyres are correctly inflated to reduce road risk and motoring costs," he concluded.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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